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The Newsroom Special Edition: The Northside Story - segregation, gentrification, and zoning in Wilmington

Special Edition Northside stories (1).png

On this week's show, guest host Kelly Kenoyer takes a deep dive into the history of segregation in Wilmington, learning how modern zoning codes have continued that legacy today. We'll look at this through the lens of Wilmington's Northside, because the story of this neighborhood is the story of countless others, which have experienced the same issues.

We’ll start with a close look at the Brooklyn Arts District — formerly known as Brooklyn Heights. That historically black neighborhood in Wilmington's Northside has seen just about every element of segregationist policy known to America… and now, it’s becoming integrated. Then, a conversation with two academics who know the ins and outs of zoning, housing, and segregation.

And finally, a look forward: to the proposed land development codes here in Wilmington, and what other cities and states are doing to make housing affordable and make neighborhoods more integrated.

Race and building condition for Northside circa 1969
Kelly Kenoyer
Surveys of ethnicity and building condition from 1969.

Catch the show this Friday at noon, or a rebroadcast on Sunday at 1 p.m., on WHQR News 91.3 FM. You can also find the show as a podcast on Stitcher, Spotify, iTunes Podcasts, and Google Podcasts. Got questions, comments, or suggestions for a future segment or show? Reach us at Newsroom@whqr.org.

Guests for this episode:

  • Cynthia Brown, historian for St. Stephen AME Church in the Brooklyn Arts District
  • Jan Davidson, historian at the Cape Fear Museum
  • Professor Danielle Spurlock and Andrew Whitemore, UNC Chapel Hill Department of City and Regional Planning
  • Richard Kahlenberg, The Century Foundation
  • Glenn Harbeck, City Planner for Wilmington

Links for this episode:

Stay Connected
Kelly Kenoyer is an Oregonian transplant new to the East Coast. She attended University of Oregon’s School of Journalism as an undergraduate, and later received a Master’s in Journalism from University of Missouri- Columbia. Contact her on Twitter @Kelly_Kenoyer or by email: KKenoyer@whqr.org.
Mattie Holloway is a North Carolina native from Emerald Isle. She is a rising junior at Emerson College majoring in writing, literature, and publishing. Mattie has interned for Public Radio East; she is part of Emerson’s honors program; and writes for her school’s lifestyle magazine, Atlas. When she’s not working, Mattie enjoys going to the beach, trying to find the perfect cup of coffee, and receiving book recommendations.
Ben Schachtman is a journalist and editor with a focus on local government accountability. He began reporting for Port City Daily in the Wilmington area in 2016 and took over as managing editor there in 2018. He’s a graduate of Rutgers College and later received his MA from NYU and his PhD from SUNY-Stony Brook, both in English Literature. He loves spending time with his wife and playing rock'n'roll very loudly. You can reach him at BSchachtman@whqr.org and find him on Twitter @Ben_Schachtman.